Sharp will launch a new cloud-based media service business, named "GALAPAGOS" as well as two e-readers in Japan in December, taking on Apple iPad and Sony's Reader.
Sharp's GALAPAGOS readers will go on sale in December, and will initially offer access to about 30,000 books, newspapers and magazines, the company said at a launch event in Tokyo. It plans to expand its offering to include movies, music and games next year.
The new e-bookstore provides an "Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service" (fee-based service) for periodical publications. The most recent editions of newspapers and magazines a user has subscribed to can be delivered and read by the user's e-book readers. In addition, free trial versions of recommended e-book content can also be delivered to the e-book reader, letting users immediately purchase content of their favor.
Two models of the e-book readers have been developed?a mobile type featuring a 5.5-inch LCD screen (1,024 x 600 pixels) and a home type featuring a 10.8-inch high-resolution HD LCD (1,366 x 800 pixels) that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread. Both devices will feature a track ball for easy flipping of pages pages and will support the XMDF format. PC data, including documents and maps, can be converted to XMDF format and can be viewed on the media tablet. In adition, the tablets will feature a web browser,
social network service applications, WiFi connection and will run Google's Android operating system.
The launch of the new reader comes four months after the iPad was launched in Japan and is set to clash with a domestic offering from Sony.